Gravity hero comes to Groningen

On 3 March, David Reitze, the man who discovered gravitational waves, is coming to Groningen. Physicists at the RUG had booked his visit right before the entire world turned its attention to him.

‘Look! That’s the guy who will be giving a lecture here in two weeks’, Diederik Roest whispered proudly to the PhD. candidates and post docs gatherer around him.

They were packed into a small room at the Van Swinderen Institute to attend a viewing the press conference where David Reitze announced the discovery of gravitational waves. ‘If he shows up, that is’, Roest added hopefully.

Big Announcement

The RUG physicists had managed to book him for a lecture before The Big Announcement. Better yet, they booked him even before the rumours about the gravitational waves had even started. Now Reitze has suddenly become world famous, and the entire physics community agrees that he will be awarded a Nobel Prize next year. So the question is: will his hectic schedule allow a visit to Groningen?

davidreize2LIGO director David Reitze, photographed during the press conference announcing the detection of gravitational waves. 

‘He’s going to be there, no question’, says Rien van de Weygaert, who works at the RUG’s Kapteyn Institute. And not only will he hold the symposium that the Van Swinderen Institute is organising, but he will also give a lecture at Studium Generale. ‘The first one is really aimed at science students’, says Van de Weygaert. ‘They will have no problems with Einstein’s equations on the blackboard. That evening, he’ll be delivering a lecture for a wide audience.’

The lecture ‘LIGO hears the sound of black holes’ will take place at the Aletta Jacobshal on Thursday, 3 March at 8 p.m.

The lecture for specialists, ‘The First Observation of a Binary Black Hole Merger Through the Detection of Gravitational Waves by LIGO’, will be given at 1 p.m. in room 11.22 at Nijenborgh 4.